Cordal 1-10 Dr Crokes B 0-10
Cordal bridged a thirty one year gap at a miserable Fitzgerald Stadium on Saturday afternoon last by claiming the Central Car Sales sponsored East Kerry Junior Championship - O Sullivan Cup - for the first time since 1976. In a game that was played in a downpour for almost the entire hour, it was always going to come down to who wanted this victory more, and in that department there is no doubt that Cordal were very eager to end a losing streak of six final defeats in this competition. In addition the winners had more of a physical presence, especially in defence, where their no nonsense style of play was to pay rich dividends in the conditions. Further afield the winners had the undoubted man of the match in Eamon John O Donoghue. O Donoghue reigned supreme in the midfield sector for the entire hour and time and again he turned defence into attack, very often taking on three or four players in the process, while to cap it all he kicked four points, three from play.
Dr Crokes were over dependant up front on the undoubted skills of young Jamie Doolan who was a constant threat to the opposition throughout especially when he moved to the full forward line early on. The townside s usual passing game was in stark contrast to the direct style of play by their opponents and very often their more lightweight attack came out second best in the trying conditions.
Dr Crokes started in confident mood with points from Daith Casey ( 45 ) and Jamie Doolan, who kicked the first of his seven points, five from play. With David O Leary linking up with his attack to good effect, the black and amber side were enjoying more of the play but after James O Sullivan opened Cordal s account in the eighth minute, Eamonn John O Donoghue levelled in fine style two minutes later to signal the start of a period of dominance for the winners. Miche l Cahill followed with a fine point and then came the only goal of the game. It came when Daniel O Connor made a surging run from the back and his inviting cross from the wing was flicked delightfully to the net by Pat O Sullivan giving Crokes keeper David Neeson no chance at all. Eamon John followed with another fine point and Cordal were in control, five points clear and seventeen minutes gone on the clock. Jamie Doolan, a constant threat up front, and Johnny O Sullivan reduced the deficit and after Tommy O Mahony replied for Cordal, Doolan again left just the goal between the sides. However, Cordal got the perfect boost approaching the break when Eamon John O Donoghue had an inspirational point from all of fifty yards to give his side a four points lead, 1-5 to 0-4 at the interval as the sides trooped off for a deserved break from the elements.
It was a lead that did not flatter them and the fact that they had six wides, to one for the townside, gives a reflection of their superiority in that opening half.
On the resumption, Cordal took up where they had left off with a Brian Reidy point being followed by another massive score from Eamon John to increase their lead to six points within two minutes of the new half. It looked ominous for Dr Crokes at this stage, however, building patiently from the back, enjoying more of the play around the middle third of the field and thanks to some excellent scores from Jamie Doolan, the townside came right back into contention. Three points from Doolan and another form Edmund O Sullivan reduced the deficit to just two points by the 41st minute and enjoying an increasing share of possession, the pendulum seemed to have swung their way. Both sides were missing chances but a good score by Pat O Sullivan in the 49th minute raised the siege for Cordal and two minutes later the same player was almost in for a goal but was denied by a fine save from David Neeson at the expense of a 45 . Out came goalkeeper Se n g Ciardubha n for the pressure kick and sent it straight and true over the bar to give Cordal a four points cushion. There was still eight minutes left but by now the winners had weathered the storm in more ways than one, and despite a great score from a sideline free by Jamie Doolan two minutes from time, Cordal held on for a deserved victory.
Long serving Cordal Chairman, Jimmy Roche, was in jubilant mood after the game and was in no doubt what this victory meant to his side; 'This was our eighth final since 1976 and you can imagine what it means to us after thirty one years and to end a run of six final defeats. It is great to come in here and defeat Dr Crokes, it means an awful lot to the club as was seen out there at the final whistle. It is tremendous for the older players many of whom have been on three losing sides and it is great to see the likes of Maurice Costello and Tim O Donoghue finish out their careers with an O Sullivan Cup medal' he said.
After the game, the Owen O Sullivan Memorial Cup was presented to winning captain, Tim O Donoghue by Con O Sullivan much to the delight of the small but enthusiastic Cordal following.
Teams and Scorers:
Cordal; Sean G Ó’Ciardubhan, Sean Canty, Mossie Enright, Gerard Wrenn, Daniel O Connor, Micheal Cahill (0-1), Maurice Costello, Eamonn John O Donoghue (0-4, 0-1 free), John Brosnan, James O Sullivan (0-1 free), Padraig O Donoghue, Brian Reidy (0-1), Pat O Sullivan (1-1), Tim O Donoghue, Tommy O Mahony (0-1). Sub: Padraig Dignan.
Dr Crokes B ; David Neeson, Kevin Landers, Brian O Donoghue, David O Leary, Kevin Smith, Ian Howard, Tommy Ryan, Johnny O Sullivan (0-1), James Jones, Daith Casey (0-1 free), Brian Clarke, Jamie Doolan (0-7, 0-2 frees), Tommy Brosnan, Ruair Mangan, David Looney. Subs: Chris Egan, Barra O Connell, Edmund O Sullivan (0-1), Denis Galvin, Tommy O Regan.
Referee: Michael O Donoghue (Glenflesk) refereed the game sensibly in the conditions.